Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) launched the Reproductive Health Screening Scheme for 2024 in February. This subsidised reproductive health screening/sampling is open to all active breeding animals in the sport horse sector during the 2024 covering season. The scheme, which is funded the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine (DAFM) under National Breeding Services was previously only open to stallions but has now expanded to include mares.

Pre-breeding

This scheme is open to all studbook registered stallions and mares (horses or ponies) and subsidises the cost of pre-breeding screening, up to a maximum of €50.

Applicants will be asked for their details and to upload the relevant veterinary reports and receipts to draw down the €50 per horse subsidy.

The pre-breeding screening must include testing for sport horses as follows:

• Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA)

• Equine Infectious Anaemia (EIA)

• Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM)

Applicants should ensure that they are using the same laboratory in their regular pre-breeding screening. Reporting metrics can differ slightly across laboratories so it is recommended to remain with the same one to allow a horse’s report to be easily compared after each screening.

Under HSI and international codes of practice, this reproductive health screening should be undertaken annually and ahead of preparing to breed.

Mare and stallion owners should always request proof of health status ahead of breeding. All imported semen must be accompanied by a health certificate and a zootechnical certificate.

This is vital to maintain equine high-health status as there is no EVA vaccine available in 2024.

Mare and stallion owners can sign up for the scheme using an online form available on the HSI website.

All applications and screening documentation must be submitted to HSI before 24 April 2024.

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